“50 told me: go ahead, switch the style up and if they hate then let ‘em hate and watch the money pile up. The good life.”
The much rumored about Cabin Fever mixtape (download here) from Wiz Khalifa is a far cry from his earlier work; the lyrics are dumbed down, the hooks much more simple, and the beats are Gucci meets Rick Ross – I’m just waiting for someone to come over them and say “burr.” Take for example track five out of the nine song tape: Taylor Gang, featuring Chevy Woods – a recurring figure in many of Wiz’s past works – loops “Taylor. Gang. Taylor. Gang.” six times per hook, three hooks in all.
See also track three, GangBang, featuring Big Sean, where the intro is exemplary of the few themes that run throughout the tape: he lights something up, breathes in a hit, “This one look like that one, that one match this one, fuck it. Money. Money. Money, and I got money, hos, money and hos. I got money and hos.” And if track four, Erryday, doesn’t sound like a Rick Ross joint then I’ll shoot my sub-woofers right now.
Add to that the incorporation of other popular hip-pop tropes such as auto-tune, more lyrics about money-making, and weed-songs and you have an insubstantial nine-song medley that you can play the whole way through without much noticing a track change (they all sound the same).
If there’s a formula for commercial success, however, Wiz has discovered it. Never claiming to be the savior of hip-hop (or that it even needs saving), Wiz has built his way up from a small-time mixtaper to a full-fledged pop star. If you haven’t heard “Black and Yellow” or some colorful remix of it, especially around the time of the Super Bowl, then you’re probably a Physics major.
To its credit, the unexpected release of the nine-track tape is only meant to whet fans’ appetites while they anticipate the studio release of Rolling Papers on March 29th (Atlantic Records).
Sold out shows, Hollywood hos, Chuck shoes and an absurd amount of tattoos, Wiz has built his identity and his music off the back of his forerunners – Lil Wayne, 50 and Kanye, to name a few. Yet he remains an entity onto himself, and his body of work speaks to this. He’s been with Rostrum Records for nine mixtapes, two studio albums and a number of nationwide tours, taking cues from few people other than himself. And it’s “Taylor Gang or die” for his millions of fans nationwide. So put the tape on in a crowded room and expect to get a few heads bumping, at least the beats are hot (read: loud).